Automatic Stay

An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosure, garnishments, and most collection activity against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.

Additional Sources

Answers.com

A provision under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code prohibiting creditors from beginning or continuing proceedings for collecting owed amounts from a firm who files for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.

FindLaw

A stay that comes into operation upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition in accordance with bankruptcy law that prevents creditors from attempting to collect from the debtor for debts incurred before the filing.

Wikipedia

In bankruptcy law, an automatic stay is an automatic injunction which halts actions by creditors, with certain exceptions, to collect debts from a debtor who has declared bankruptcy.